Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has accused Arsenal gaffer Mikel Arteta to stop complaining and focus on his team, after the Spaniard appeared to blame referee Paul Tierney for Wednesday’s heavy North London defeat.
Spurs, currently in fifth place, reduced the gap on Arsenal to one point with a comfortable 3-0 win to keep alive hopes of clinching the final Champions League berth.
A Harry Kane double and a Son Heung-min strike did the damage while Arsenal’s miserable visit to the Spurs Stadium was compounded by Rob Holding’s sending off.
Speaking after the game, Arteta would not be drawn on his thoughts on the match official, saying: ”I cannot say what I think or I will be suspended.”
But, when asked about Arteta’s take on the decisions from the officials, Conte said:“He complains a lot. He has to focus more on his team. He has to focus more on his work. He has to continue to work because he’s a very good [coach]. To hear someone complain all the time is not so good.
“At Liverpool [on Saturday] do you hear me complain about Fabinho and all the fouls? No. He can take my advice if he wants, but if not I don’t care.
“I listen and he complains a lot. I think that he has to be more focussed on his team and not to complain because he has just started his work. He has to be calm and try to continue to work. To listen to a coach complain a lot of the time is not good.”
Both teams now have two games remaining as the fixture came at a crucial stage of the season, having been rescheduled after Arsenal successfully appealed to the Premier League.
Conte has been unhappy about the postponement and once again hit out at the call as he continued to criticise his North London rivals.
“He [Arteta] complained about the fixtures and that was after Arsenal had an unbelievable postponement with just one Covid case,” he added.
“Now we’re playing at 12pm on Sunday and they don’t play until Monday. We can’t always complain.”
Holding replaced Ben White in the heart of defence, who could only settle for a place among the substitutes following a hamstring injury. The red card now means Holding will be suspended for the vital Monday trip to Newcastle.
Should Tottenham win at home to Burnley on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal will go into the clash trailing their rivals.
Arsenal end their season at home against Frank Lampard’s Everton, while Spurs travel to East Anglia to take on already-relegated Norwich City.